Renters Guide to Renting a Home
Make their house yours with these tips and tricks.
Are you about to jump into the rental market? Are you looking to rent a house or an apartment? Here are some ideas and helpful tips that could save you time and money, make the rental house or apartment your own, and help you understand your rights as a tenant so when you move out you don’t lose your bond.
Know your rights as a tenant.
Understanding your rights and also your responsibilities is crucial when renting, especially if you want to keep yourself, your family, your belongings, and your bond protected. Tenancy, or Rental, Agreements cover you [the tenant] for everything from how and when you can be evicted to your level of privacy and owner access to the property. This Agreement also outlines costs like building insurance and rates – costs that are usually worn by the home owner. It is your legal protection should the sky suddenly fall on you. Your agent or landlord should be more than happy to sit down and go through the Tenancy Agreement with you. Make sure you understand what you are reading and don’t feel pressured to sign anything you aren’t comfortable with.
For more information on your rights as a tenant visit http://www.tenanthelp.com.au/ and choose the state that applies to you.
Renting is expensive, so it’s nice to know there are at least a couple of things you do not have to pay for.
Insurance. Tenants only need contents insurance as the building insurance should be covered by the landlord or property owner. Again, we recommend you check the Tenancy Agreement to confirm this is the case.
Save thousands on utilities. Just because your landlord has been using their preferred electricity and gas supplier does not mean you need to do the same. Switching to a greener, cheaper, and/or more sustainable energy supplier is not only easy on the environment, it could also save you some money.
Home improvements without losing your deposit.
As a renter you really are limited by what you can actually do to the property – a situation that can leave you feeling frustrated at best. But with these helpful tips you can make renting your own place enjoyable, without the risk of losing your bond – or your mind:
- Temporary hooks provide the ability to hang a variety of paintings and pictures without doing any permanent damage to walls. Use paintings and photos to cover unsightly cracks in the wall or to break up the monotony of large areas.
- Plants are a great way of bringing the outdoors in, but they also provide great cover for cracks or areas where you don’t want the focal point of a room being the flaw.
- Funky looking furniture with inbuilt storage serves the purposes of being functional, looking great AND being practical by providing solutions to free up space and remove clutter. Make your rental home your own by splurging on a few nice items of furniture that will not only provide storage solutions, but will also become focal points, add a touch of your personality and help to make someone else’s house your home.
- If you don’t like the floor then consider rugs and hall runners. Not only can you give the home the look and feel you are after, rugs also serve to protect the home’s natural floor – meaning less to worry about when it comes time to get your deposit back.
Be sure to check the Tenancy Agreement and with your landlord before adding fixtures of any kind to your rental property.
Getting your deposit or rental bond back.
If you’ve done the right thing as a tenant and respected the property then getting your deposit back shouldn’t be an issue. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure that when you do decide to leave, you can do so on a positive note:
- Patch up any damage – including filling holes or gaps in the walls and/or broken cupboard doors etc (look at fixes that are generally superficial and easy to patch up yourself);
- Take photos – compare with photos taken when you moved in; and,
- Give the place a thorough clean!